Lost the queen. Where will she go?
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Embarrassed Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    I just had the queen in a catcher and was transferring her to a cage when she surprised me with a quick fake right and she jumped left and flew off! Up, up and away and I lost her. Should have taken more care, I know. Anyway, there are 4 hives 100 yards away and her hive (observation) on the other side of the sunporch. I'm looking around but it's a needle in a haystack. I've remounted and opened the OH. Will she make it back in? Will the workers show me where she is in the trees? Am I S.O.L.?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA, USA
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    I just had the queen in a catcher and was transferring her to a cage when she surprised me with a quick fake right and she jumped left and flew off! Up, up and away and I lost her. Should have taken more care, I know. Anyway, there are 4 hives 100 yards away and her hive (observation) on the other side of the sunporch. I'm looking around but it's a needle in a haystack. I've remounted and opened the OH. Will she make it back in? Will the workers show me where she is in the trees? Am I S.O.L.?
    Was she mated? If mated in the hive she was taken from, she might go back. Otherwise, you are probably SOL. I lost a couple virgins (ok 3, back to back to back within a few minutes, was not a good day) transferring cages in the field. I do it in my truck now, havent lost one since.

    RE: cages, if you are virgins (like for II), use california mini cages. My bank was sealing up all the queens with wax in hair roller cages, hence the need to recage them.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Mated but the colony was in distress. I'll look again in the morning.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    If she has good memory of the location of this hive then she will come back. If not then
    might as well get them another mated queen or do a combine. We've all been there before.
    I like to do night time beekeeping to check on the virgin nuc hive these days. She won't be likely
    to fly away at night time.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,822

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    I lost one just the other day. They say she will orient on you, so stand still. Mine was already marked and within minutes, she was coming back to the nuc from which I pulled her. If you don't find her in the hive, look for a clump of bees on the ground.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Thanks for the shared experiences folks. I'll look for her back in the OH today. I did wait around and watched for her as well as a gathering of bees. I'll do the same again today but not holding out much hope. The OH suffered a bad SHB outbreak and I cleaned a lot of it out. Low on bees, missing many frames. Hardly a home at all. Might be best to just shut it down for winter or move another colony into it.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,278

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    she will find her way back to her own hive or end up in queen heaven. maybe 50 : 50. wait and see. the answer above that says the first thing you do is not move for awhile is a best immediate "to do" answer, then see what the situation is the next day.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Sibiu, Sibiu, Romania
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    . I lost a couple virgins (ok 3, back to back to back within a few minutes, was not a good day) transferring cages in the field. I do it in my truck now, havent lost one since.
    Also it happened to me. Is there an other solution to avoid these occurences? For instance, water sprinkling over the queen?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,822

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Usually I put my queens in a queen clip in the yard and bring them inside to mark, etc, but after I lost one at the garden center where I was doing a bee nuc inspection, I started using a butterfly enclosure to do the transfers. Pretty inexpensive to pick up on Amazon. I've had plenty try to fly off in this habitat while I'm working with them (and the door is unzipped so I have my hands in there, and all they can do it go to the top and I pick them up again. This one has a clear window so you can see while you are working.

    http://www.butterflyfarmingsupplies....-5-x-11-5.html

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Yes, if I do more with queens (which I plan to do this coming season) I should get something. Your butterfly cage reminded me that I saw something a long time ago. It's a muff: https://www.kelleybees.com/queen-muff.html Comparing the value of a queen, I think either is a worthy investment for anyone doing any kind of transfer work.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    I had that happen to me this year. I had a good friend over and we were doing inspections on some hives. I opened the top and I noticed the marked queen staring at me. I very slowly tried to replace the inner cover when she said bye bye. Luckily my friend was able to watch her and she landed a few feet away next to another colony. I picked her up and put her back into her home. Right before I closed the hive up, bam she takes off again. I have never seen that happen before. I had extra queens available so I was able to fix the issue but it was one of Mike Palmers Queens that took off.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    I had one fly off on me this year as well. She was marked. I decided to let the hive replace her on their own. When I did an inspection a week later I found she was back and there were no queen cells so she must have taken a short vacation.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    I've had a few mated ones take off and they've never come back. But here and friends I know locally who keep bees have had some come back. So maybe you'll get lucky.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Lost the queen. Where will she go?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •